Eminem's "Rap God" leaked yesterday, and the song is aptly titled. Besides being incredibly impressive from a technical standoint, the song is a cornucopia of references to hip-hop.
The last line—"Why be a king when you can be a god"—is a nod to Kendrick Lamar's "stop the presses" verse from Big Sean's "Control." You know, the verse that has launched a thousand rap-response ships since coming out this summer. Kendrick, as you maybe have read, because literally every single person on the planet with an Internet connection has been talking about nothing else over the past couple months, called himself the "King of New York." And much discussion (and controversy!) has followed. Who is the current King of Rap? Em's sign-off is a friendly upping of the ante. And it proves, once again, what a die-hard rap nerd this kid from Detroit (who is no longer a kid) remains.
Other evidence is abundant here. Shouts to Rakim, Tupac, Phaorah Monch, Heavy D. Hints at classics like "Supersonic," "Chunky But Funky" and "The Show." And probably a whole bunch of stuff that we haven't picked up on yet.
Here are the first 10 rap references that jumped out at us. Join us as we begin Breaking Down the Rap References in Eminem's "Rap God."